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Hernia Treatment in Singapore: A Comprehensive Guide [2024]

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Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended to provide educational guidance as there may be other treatment options available; it does not replace the need for professional medical advice and should not be relied upon as specific advice for individual cases.

A hernia occurs when an organ or tissue pushes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscles. The most common type of hernias occur in the abdominal area, but they can also appear in other areas such as the groin, belly button, or around surgical incisions. If you have been diagnosed with a hernia, it is crucial to seek proper treatment to avoid potential complications.

Types of Hernias

There are several types of hernias, but the most common ones include:

Hiatus Hernia

A hiatus hernia occurs when a part of the stomach bulges through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. It is commonly associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and can cause symptoms such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and chest pain.

Inguinal Hernia

Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia, accounting for about 75% of all cases. They occur when part of the intestine bulges through a weak spot in the lower abdominal muscles, causing a visible bulge in the groin area.

Umbilical Hernia

Umbilical hernias are common among infants and occur when part of the intestine bulges through the abdominal muscles near the belly button. They can also affect adults who have weakened abdominal muscles due to pregnancy or obesity.

Incisional Hernia

Incisional hernias occur in the area of a previous abdominal surgery. They can develop years after the initial surgery due to weakened scar tissue.

Symptoms of Hernias

The most common symptom of a hernia is a bulge or swelling in the affected area. Other common symptoms include pain or discomfort, especially when lifting heavy objects or straining during bowel movements. In some cases, hernias can also cause nausea and vomiting.

Causes of Hernias

Hernias occur when there is a weakness or tear in the muscles that hold organs in place. Some common causes of hernias include:

  • Weakness in the abdominal muscles present at birth
  • Age and genetics as risk factors for developing weak abdominal muscles
  • Lifestyle habits such as heavy lifting, chronic coughing, or straining during bowel movements

Diagnosis of Hernias

If you suspect you have a hernia, it is essential to visit a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. The following are some common methods used to diagnose hernias:

  • Physical examination: Your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam to check for any visible bulges in the affected area.
  • Imaging tests: Your doctor may also recommend imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI to get a better view of the hernia.
  • Specialised tests: In some cases, your doctor may need more information about the hernia’s size and location. They may perform a herniogram or laparoscopy to gather more details before deciding on the best treatment option.

Hernia Treatment Options in Singapore

The treatment options for hernias depend on the severity and location of the hernia. In some cases, a doctor may recommend non-surgical options before considering surgery.

Non-Surgical Options

Watchful waiting

If the hernia is small and not causing any symptoms, your doctor may recommend monitoring it over time to see if it gets worse.

Support garments

Wearing a supportive garment over the affected area can provide temporary relief and prevent the hernia from protruding further.

Lifestyle changes

Making some lifestyle modifications such as avoiding heavy lifting, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce symptoms and prevent the hernia from getting bigger.

Surgical Options

In cases where the hernia is large or causing symptoms, surgery may be necessary. The following are some surgical options for treating hernias in Singapore.

Open Hernia Repair

In traditional open surgery, a surgeon makes an incision near the hernia. This repairs the hernia by pushing the bulging tissue back into place. It helps to strengthen the surrounding muscles with sutures or mesh.

Laparoscopic Surgery

In this minimally invasive procedure, a surgeon makes several small incisions and uses specialised tools to repair the hernia.

Robotic Surgery

A newer technique similar to laparoscopy, robotic surgery involves using a robot-assisted system controlled by the surgeon to perform the operation with more precision and less risk of complications.

Recovery After Hernia Surgery

After a hernia surgery, you may need to stay in the hospital for a day or two to monitor your recovery. Your doctor will provide specific instructions for post-operative care, which may include:

  • Avoiding strenuous activities and heavy lifting for a few weeks
  • Taking prescribed pain medications as needed
  • Wearing supportive garments
  • Following a special diet to avoid straining during bowel movements

Costs of Treatment

Surgery is usually recommended for treating hernias, and the cost of this procedure can vary depending on the type of surgery, hospital fees, and other related expenses. In Singapore, the Ministry of Health has set fee benchmarks for common surgeries, including hernia repair.

According to MOH fee guidelines, a hernia repair in Singapore can cost between $3000 – $11,200. This depends on multiple factors such as type of hernia, complications and more.

Higher surgeon fees may also be incurred as a result of larger defects, mesh placement, larger hernia sacs, femoral hernias, hernias with complications and emergency surgery. 

The cost of hernia treatment in Singapore may thus vary depending on the type and complexity of the hernia, as well as the chosen treatment approach. However, with a competitive healthcare market, the costs are generally affordable compared to other developed countries. Furthermore, some insurance plans may cover the cost of hernia treatment in Singapore, making it a more accessible option for patients.

It is important to note that these are just fee benchmarks and actual fees can vary depending on individual circumstances and hospital charges. Patients are advised to discuss the cost of surgery with their doctors and hospitals beforehand.

In some cases, subsidies or insurance coverage may be available to help offset the cost of hernia surgery. For example, Singapore citizens and permanent residents can use Medisave to pay for a portion of the surgical fees. Those with MediShield Life or private health insurance may also have coverage for hernia surgery.


Hernias can be a common and uncomfortable condition. But with proper treatment, they can be effectively managed. If you have been diagnosed with a hernia, it is essential to consult with your doctor to determine the best course of treatment for your specific case.

With advancements in medical technology and procedures, there are various options available in Singapore for treating hernias and helping you get back to your normal daily activities.

Remember, early detection and treatment can help prevent potential complications, so don’t ignore any symptoms and seek medical attention when needed. So make sure to prioritise your health and well-being by taking care of any possible hernias that may arise. Stay healthy!

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